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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The unspoken rules of networking

Networking is key, key to success during a job search process. We all agree on this. Everyone knows that about 80% of the job offers is not available on ad. Only a powerful network will reveal them to you.
Most accompanying partners find it very difficult to build a network in a new country. This is true, but it is highly remarkable that some do not see any major difficulty in the networking process. Do you know why?
They like it, they have fun networking: If a job search would be a job (well it is, isn't?) networking would be the best part of it: the very part that keeps motivation high.
No need to tell you that these individuals are extremely successful at quickly getting the job they want, at the company they want.
If only reading these words raise your blood pressure and make you feel uncomfortable, there are just a few things you need to know to make you feel better: “The unspoken rules of networking”.

1st rule: Don’t ask for a job. It's very natural to feel exposed when going to people asking for a job in the same way as asking a favor. It makes both feel uncomfortable, you and the one you solicit. Be relaxed about this; you're not going to be asked to do that.
Most people feel bad going and asking, whereas they prefer going and offering something.2nd rule: get yourself something to offer. Take time to think about it. This could be your time, your knowledge, your passion. You need to find it out.
It is the right place here for my favorite sentence about networking:
“Give without remembering, receive without forgetting”

3rd rule: networking is not a one to one Win-Win. You do not do someone a favor and expect a favor back. It just does not work that way.
But if you are active enough for your network, you will soon see the benefit comes in return.

Going out to meet people to build a network is very good but if you do not ask the names and contact details of the people you meet, you will not be able to follow-up which basically means you have lost your and the other person’s time.
Therefore the 4th rule is to make sure you get the name of the person you met.

The 5th rule, is not to be picky. The relevance of networking with a person may not be obvious, but you do not know who might be in this person’s network, what he has to say. Also, maybe you have something interesting to offer: remember unspoken rule number 3...

It is now time to reveal the 6th and most important rule of networking: follow up and follow up quickly. If someone has offered you some help or to connect you with someone she knows or to send you information or even to go for a drink or a coffee: She meant it.
And it is not because she is not running after you to repeat the offer that she does not want to help. That's now your call. You need to follow up, this will show your respect and interest. If you do not, it demonstrates your lack of interest or lack of motivation.

These rules are the same whether applied to networking face to face, during events, or on social networks.
Good luck in your future networking activities and remember to have fun and to share this article to your network!

Sandrine van den Oudenhoven 

Copyright job4U2 2012

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